International Rugby League will move to Newcastle’s Hunter Stadium in 2016 as part of Representative Round in May.
The NRL today released the schedule for Representative Round, highlighted by a Test between Australia and New Zealand at Hunter Stadium and a Pacific double header at Parramatta’s Pirtek Stadium.
This year’s representative action falls between rounds nine and ten when the Aquis Titans play Melbourne Storm and Sydney Roosters at home.
The Trans-Tasman Test match at Hunter Stadium, to be played on Friday May 6, will be Mal Meninga’s first match as coach of the Kangaroos.
The Harvey Norman Jillaroos will also take on the New Zealand Kiwi Ferns in the curtain-raiser to the Trans-Tasman Test.
The Pacific double header will feature Samoa, Tonga, Fiji and PNG and will be held on Saturday May 7. The Junior Kangaroos will play the Junior Kiwis in the curtain-raiser to the Pacific double header.
The Titans have several players who are eligible for selection in the double header: Agnatius Paasi, Leva Li (Tonga), Eddy Pettybourne, Nathaniel Peteru (Samoa), Nene Macdonald and David Mead (PNG).
However, Mead has played for Country Origin the past two seasons and will again be well in running for selection there while Greg Bird is keen to retain his Australian Test position after playing in last season’s Trans-Tasman Test.
NRL Head of Football Todd Greenberg said Representative Round would showcase international rugby league at its best.
“Once again, to have Australia and New Zealand clashing, along with our best women and junior players, will be wonderful to see,” Mr Greenberg said.
“The Trans-Tasman Test will be an extremely important match for both teams, in a Four Nations year and the fact it will be Mal’s first match in charge of the Kangaroos will ensure it is a little more special.
“International rugby league is a real priority for us and this Representative Round will feature some great match-ups.”
On top of the international fixtures, the AAMI Country v City match will be played at Tamworth’s Scully Park.
Representative Round is being supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.
2016 REPRESENTATIVE ROUND
May 6 - Australia v New Zealand, Hunter Stadium, Newcastle
May 6 – Harvey Norman Jillaroos v Kiwi Ferns, Hunter Stadium, Newcastle
May 7 – Pacific Double Header, Pirtek Stadium, Parramatta
May 7 – Junior Kangaroos v Junior Kiwis, Pirtek Stadium, Parramatta
May 8 – AAMI Country v City, Scully Park, Tamworth